City of Saint Peters, MO asked in Family Law and Real Estate Law for Missouri

Q: My spouse moved out of our home 8 years ago and I never removed them from the title. Is he entitled to any proceeds?

My fiancé moved out 8 years ago due to an abusive relationship. I’ve had full custody of our 4 kids ever since then. He made 3 years of payments on the house while we were together, but I’ve made the last 8 years of payments by myself. I’m wanting to sell my house and move soon. Is my ex entitled to any of the proceeds I make off of my house since his name is still on the title? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jennifer Sheila Kornblum
Jennifer Sheila Kornblum
  • Springfield, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: There are a couple of considerations you need to make in order to answer your question. First, the loan you and your ex have is with the mortgage company. That lender is not invested in your personal situation and is just interested in 1) whether the mortgage payments have been made, and 2) that the mortgage is paid off when the house is sold. So the mortgage company has no interest in who made the payments. If there is equity left over once the mortgage is paid off, that is a discussion to be had between you and your ex.

In order for the title company to equitably distribute the proceeds of sale between you and your ex, you will need to have a written agreement signed by both of you. Otherwise the title company that handles the closing will likely just have to hold onto the proceeds until you are able to agree on a division. Because both of you have to sign off on the sale documentation. So the time to agree on the division of proceeds is before the closing on the sale of the property. You can work out the math and show your ex what his share is and yours is, and see if he will agree. Or you can hire an attorney to help the two of you mediate the division of the proceeds. Or you can each hire attorneys and fight over the proceeds.

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